How to give your skin a fighting chance against heating, cold weather and heavy make-up.

You may think that dehydration would be more of an issue in the heat of summer, but not so. Central heating does a pretty efficient job of zapping skin’s moisture levels and leaving it dry, flaky and sensitive. Coupled with heavier make-up in winter months as we try and fake that summer glow, plus the battering our skin gets from wintery weather and it’s hardly surprising that our winter skincare routine needs some oomph if it’s going to see us through to spring in tip-top condition.

To help with, here we round up our seven top tips to cold weather proof your routine through January.

1. Lower Your Thermostat And Invest In A Humidifier

This will increase the moisture content in your air at home and minimise drying out your skin (add in essential oils too for a wellbeing boost). The Philips humidifier is great for small rooms (£150), while the Dyson fairs better in user reviews for larger spaces (£599).

2. Use SPF

Yes, you need an SPF, even on a grey day. Winter is a great time of year to tackle any sun damage and pigmentation with a retinol treatment, but do also ensure that you are using your daily SPF to protect skin’s increased sensitivity when using Vitamin As, else you could do more harm than good. We rate the La Roche Posay Anthelios lightweight SPF50 (£17.50) for a broad range of skin tone. It provides protection without leaving a white mask.

3. Invest In Barriers And Protective Balms

They will not only lock in moisture but also act as a preventative defence against the elements. Try a multi-purpose balm such as Decleor’s Cica-Botanic Balm with healing and soothing essential oils (£35). Or, for a rich buttery lip balm that’s not sticky or greasy, try Nuxe Honey lip balm (£11) for really nourishing protection.

4. Prioritise Protection And Build Strength

Winter skincare routines should prioritise protection and focus on improving your skin’s natural strength and health (after all, our skin is designed to be our first defence against the elements). Look for products containing pre-biotics such as the no-frills Inkey List’s Multibiotic (£12.99). Add after the cleansing step in your routine to boost your skin’s defences.

5. Take Care of Your Hands

Chapped knuckles and dry hands from extra washing can leave hands red raw. Wear gloves made from natural fibres, such as wool or cashmere, when out on wintery walks to protect from the cold and do keep a good, fragrance-free hand cream in your bag, on your nightstand, atop your desk and by the sink to encourage you to use it regularly. Weleda’s Skin Food (£7.95) is a cult favourite for its super strength hydrating and soothing properties. It’s also worth investing in a dedicated cuticle oil to keep them soft and healthy. Choose one rich in Vitamin E like this one from CND (£11.95)

6. Look After Your Diet

Help skin moisturise from the inside out by eating a diet rich in omega-3 or omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil and flaxseed oil. Or consider a dedicated supplement to boost your intake, like these from Bare Biology (£28.50).

7. Tackle Rosacea Flare-Ups

The cold, wintry weather combined with over-heated indoor spaces can cause seasonal rosacea flare-ups, or redness. Try Erborian’s CC Red Correct cream (£18) under foundation to neutralise your rosy hue.

By Lydia Mansi
January 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.